It is a common misconception that scuba diving requires minimal physical effort. While diving can be a relaxing activity, you need to be sure that you are fully equipped for the physical aspects of scuba diving.
Evaluate Your Physical Fitness
Prior to diving, the most important thing to consider is your health. It is recommended that you incorporate 30-60 minutes of exercise into your routine, at least 3 times a week. There are three key elements that contribute to diver fitness and they are strength, aerobics, and flexibility. Here are a couple of ways in which you can test and prepare your body for a dive:
One of the biggest components of diving is your ability to control your breath. This is also an important practice in yoga. Various types of yoga, including Pranayama, promote breath control (slow, deep breathing exercises) and ways to calm your mind. Not only does yoga help improve flexibility and strength, but it also helps improve your air combustion.
Cardiorespiratory fitness assesses your body’s ability to transport oxygen to your muscles while exercising; as well as your muscle’s ability to absorb and use that oxygen. This relates to diving because, the stronger your cardiorespiratory fitness, the less air you will have to use up when diving. Cardio training you can include in your workout routine is:
- Cycling – This is a form of cardio that isn’t too strenuous on the muscles, joints, and tendons. The motions that you go through when pedaling help prepare you for finning.
- Running – Going for a run is an effective way to test your limits and see how much cardio your body is able to handle. If you’re not a fan of running long distances, try interval training. Interval training consists of a warm-up, bursts (sprints), light jogging, and a cool-down.
- Swimming – This seems like a rather obvious form of training, but the more time you spend underwater, the easier your diving experience. If you aren’t a frequent diver or swimmer, it may be a good idea to sign up for swimming lessons or spend some time at your local pool practicing.
Building Up Muscle Mass
Scuba diving requires you to lug around heavy gear and equipment. Incorporating weight training into your workout routine may be beneficial to help prevent strain or injury. Exercises that you can include in your resistance training regimen are squats, lunges, push-ups, and plank to name a few.
While physical fitness is important, you must also consider the psychological stresses that may occur before or during a dive. Some of the stresses that divers experience include unfamiliarity with the environment/area, visibility, and pressure to kit-up too quickly. Here are some tips for dealing with psychological stresses:
Knowledge of Gear and Equipment
It is important to know your gear inside and out prior to going on a dive. The more comfortable you are with the equipment and gear that you are wearing, the more confident you are going to feel. If you are renting equipment, take some time to familiarize yourself with it and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Familiarize Yourself with the Dive Site
Before you embark on your dive, you will be briefed by your dive guide. This is the perfect time to ask questions about the site, the conditions, etc. If after the briefing you still aren’t feeling comfortable, it is okay to sit it out!
Pick a Maui Dive Shop You Can Trust
When you are in the company of people you can trust and communicate with, it makes your diving experience that much better! Extended Horizons is a nationally credentialed and highly-rated Maui dive shop. Connect with them today to learn more about the dives that they offer, as well as information about training and diving courses!